Solomon P. Congruence between health professionals' and patients' pain ratings: a review of the literature. Scand J Caring Sci. 2001; 15:(2)174-80

Zhang L, Losin EAR, Ashar YK, Koban L, Wager TD. Gender biases in estimation of others' pain. J Pain. 2021; 22:(9)1048-1059

Women and pain

09 September 2021
Volume 30 · Issue 16

Pain is a complex universal phenomenon; however, the way it is experienced, perceived and conceptualised is shaped by wider social, cultural and political environments. It is a symptom that is present in a wide range of medical conditions and it can have a significant impact on a person's quality of life and overall functioning. There are many different factors that can contribute to pain. These factors can be intertwined in such a way that it can make it difficult to separate one from the other.

There is much evidence to suggest that gender is an important factor in the modulation of pain. Stereotypes are abundant in society, detailing specific expectations that are suggested by, for example, gender. Their effects on the stigmatised groups can be detrimental. Gender stereotypes determine how women's experiences of pain are addressed and treated. In 2001 Soloman reported that healthcare staff often underestimated a patient's pain and this is particularly so with regards to women's pain. Gender differences can have significant influence on patient presentations and how a nurse makes their response.

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